Don Nelson, the NBA’s all-time winningest coach, and one of the most noted names in Warriors history, told ESPN Dallas that he got good news this time from the Hall of Fame committee.
NELSON: “It’s a great honor to cap my career. I’ve had a great time and a great life coaching basketball. I don’t actually need to be rewarded for anything, but I am very proud and my family is very proud of this award.”
Nelson was a three-time Coach of the Year and s widely considered an innovator for his creation of small ball. Nelson had been passed up for the last few years. But last year, legendary Utah coach Jerry Sloan got the Hall of Fame nod. That eliminated the one knock against Nelson – his lack of a championship. Sloan has never won an NBA title either.
Nelson was at Oracle Arena on March 19 as the Warriors retired the jersey of Chris Mullin, who was part of last year’s Hall of Fame class.
Nelson was one of 12 finalists for the class of 2012. Also on the ballot are Reggie Miller, five-time NCAA Final Four coach Rick Pitino, former NBA coach Bill Fitch, Maurice Cheeks, Bernard King, Dick Motta, Hank Nichols, Ralph Sampson, Jamaal Wilkes, two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain, and the female version of the Harlem Globetrotters – the All-American Red Heads,. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will officially announce the 2012 class on Monday at the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans.